San Francisco Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

If you are a motorcycle enthusiast, you know that San Francisco has some top-shelf motorcycle touring routes. San Francisco motorcycle trails are included on even the most traveled motorcyclist’s bucket list. Whether you are cruising the downtown streets amid the local shops and restaurants or touring outside the city,searching for the perfect Bay Area picnic spot, San Francisco has a route that will take you there.

But before you strap on that helmet and crank that throttle, here are some things you should know about riding motorcycles in San Francisco. 

San Francisco Motorcycle Statistics

According to the most recent statistics offered by the California Department of Motor Vehicles, there are 36,229,205 vehicles registered in California. Of those, 866,591 are motorcycles. And of all the motorcycles registered in California, San Francisco County is home to 18,154 bikes. Compared to the number of motorcycles and other vehicles registered in surrounding counties, you would think San Francisco County would be one of the safest counties in which to ride your motorcycle. 

Vehicle Registrations
CountiesCarsTrucksTrailersMotorcyclesTotal Vehicles
San Francisco339,07851,7659,41218,154472,409
Santa Clara1,372,612197,57264,61436,8441,631,642

But according to the most recent Crash Ranking Results issued by the California Office of Traffic Safety, of the top 15 largest cities in California, San Francisco ranks first (worst) in terms of motorcycle crashes.

OTC Crash Ranking Results
CitiesPopulationMotorcyclesRegistered in CountyDaily Vehicle Miles TraveledMotorcycle Fatalities & InjuriesRanking

(of comparable cities)

1 = worst

15 = best

San Francisco849,47518,1542,726,7483531/15 
Long Beach459,757155,0653,974,5201284/15
San Diego1,371,83286,26911,833,1483537/15
Los Angeles3,853,323155,06528,569,1921,1168/15
Chula Vista276,92286,2691,896,8213811/15
San Jose991,14436,8446,139,3033914/15
Santa Ana311,34060,1202,342,558415/15

Motorcycle touring in San Francisco has its perks, but it also has its risks. When riding in San Francisco, it is especially important to be mindful of the small safety measures impressed on beginning riders that, so often, experienced riders forget.

Safety Tips for Motorcycle Riding in San Francisco

San Francisco’s ranking for motorcycle crashes is alarming. Although many factors play a role in the rankings, generally, the more miles that all vehicles travel on the road each day, the more motorcycle fatalities and injuries result.

No matter where you ride your motorcycle, there are several safety measures that every rider can take to reduce the risk of injury or fatality when riding.

  • Wear a DOT-approved helmet. California Vehicle Code § 27803 requires that everyone who rides on a motorcycle, including passengers, must wear a helmet approved by the Department of Transportation (DOT). According to the DOT Motorcycle Handbook, you are three times more likely to survive a head injury in a motorcycle collision if you are wearing a DOT-compliant helmet. 
  • Face and eye protection. Many motorcycles have windshields that offer protection from wind and debris, but windshield protection is limited. In addition to having a windshield, you should wear a DOT-approved helmet that includes a plastic, shatter-proof face shield that locks in place when lowered. This offers full eye protection from wind and debris and prevents your eyes from watering while riding. 
  • Clothes or “riding gear”. Wearing proper clothes and other gear when riding offers multiple levels of protection. Proper riding gear includes:
    • Leather. Motorcycle riders don’t wear leather jackets just to look cool. Wearing leather (jackets or pants) helps protect the rider’s arms and legs from superficial injuries (“road rash”) in a fall. It also keeps you warm. Remember, the faster your riding speed, the colder the wind chill. If the temperature is 50 degrees outside and you ride at 65 mph, it is going to feel like 25 degrees! 
    • Long Pants. You only have to burn your leg on a scalding tail pipe once to realize the importance of wearing long pants on a motorcycle. 
    • Boots. Footwear should be flat (no heels), sturdy, above-the-ankle, and close-toed. Sandals expose your toes and can easily fall off while riding. Do not wear shoes with long or loose laces that could tangle in the wheel or other parts of the bike.
  • Riding experience. Everyone gets excited to ride a motorcycle for the first time. But riding safely takes time and practice. Even the most experienced bikers have spills and collisions. Make sure you know how to ride and how to operate your motorcycle. Always take a sponsored motorcycle riding training course before you obtain your motorcycle license or ride your motorcycle on the road.
Things to Do After a Motorcycle Accident

Hopefully you never experience a motorcycle accident. As you can see from the statistics in the charts above, however, the more miles you ride, the more likely you are to have a crash, especially in San Francisco. 

If you experience a motorcycle accident, here are just two important things to remember:

  • Get medical attention. Very few bikers walk away from a motorcycle crash completely uninjured. Many crashes result in serious head injuries. But even if you have a minor collision at an intersection or take a curve too fast and spill on the side of the road, always seek medical attention after any kind of motorcycle crash. The brain can experience trauma, even from a low-speed impact. Always err on the side of caution and get checked out.
  • Seek legal advice. Every driver on the road has a legal duty not to endanger others—including motorcyclists. Many drivers do not pay careful attention to motorcycles on the road. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, always talk with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and any damage to your bike. This will require filing a claim with the insurance company of the person who was at fault. Having a motorcycle accident lawyer to guide you through that process is critical.
A San Francisco Motorcycle Accidents Requires a San Francisco Motorcycle Lawyer

At Moseley Collins Law, we hope you enjoy miles of safe and scenic motorcycle riding in San Francisco. But if you experience a motorcycle crash, know that we are here to help. We will discuss your case and help you decide what your next step should be. You may need to file a claim with another driver’s insurance company. We can help you do that. You may even need to file a lawsuit to be compensated for your damages. We can help you do that too. 

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